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Francis John (Frank) Waters (1907–1990)

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Francis John (Frank) Waters (1907-1990) postal worker, trade union official and parliamentarian 

Birth: 10 August 1907 at Hastings, New Zealand, son of Australian-born parents John Thomas Waters (1877-1933), a chef, from Bobinwarrah, Moira, Victoria, and Margaret, née McGrath (1877-1920). Marriage: 24 June 1930 at Brisbane, Queensland, to Brisbane-born Jessie Kate Robertson (1902-1985). They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 6 August 1990 at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane. Religion: none. 

  • Educated at St Patrick’s convent (primary), Auckland, New Zealand. Left New Zealand in 1916. Attended convent school at St Marys, New South Wales. Moved to South Johnstone, Queensland in 1917. Went to South Johnstone, Selwyn and Kuridala state schools.
  • Joined Postmaster General’s Department in 1922 as telegraph messenger boy.
  • Enlisted in the Australian Military Forces on 28 May 1942. Was sergeant, Q Echelon and Records section of Army Records. Discharged on 26 March 1946.
  • Extensive career with Queensland branch of Amalgamated Postal Workers Union. Member of committee of management, vice-president and hon. assistant secretary (1926-34); secretary (1946-72) and president (1961-73).
  • Delegate to Qld Trades and Labor Council 1926-1932, executive member 1928-1932 and 1951-1976. Delegate to interstate executive, Australian Council of Trade Unions 1932 and ACTU congresses 1955-1973. Adviser workers delegate Australian International Labour Organization, conference 1970, 1970 (Postal Telegraph and Telephone International). Delegate, world conference of Postal Telecommunications Technicians’ I London 1963, Brussels 1966, Oslo 1975; delegate regional conference PTTI Wellington NZ 1965, Bandung 1971, Melbourne 1974. Secretary Workers’ Educational Association Debating Society.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party. Expelled in 1941 when he was joint secretary of ‘ALP Protest Committee’. Rejoined in 1956. Delegate to Qld ALP convention 1932, 1938, 1941, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1971 and 1972. Delegate to Federal Conference ALP from 1962 to 1975.
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kelvin Grove in Queensland parliament from 1932 until defeated in 1938.
  • In retirement lived in Brisbane suburb, Dorrington.
  • Published, with D. J. Murphy, Postal Unions and Politics (1978).
  • Cause of death: cerebral thrombosis, congestive cardiac failure, ischaemic heart disease, helicobacter gastritis, maturity onset diabetes.

Biography Register, Queensland Parliament; Communication Worker, September 1986, December 1987; Postal Advocate, December 1972; F. Waters, Postal Unions and Politics (1978).

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Citation details

'Waters, Francis John (Frank) (1907–1990)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Frank Waters, 1942

Frank Waters, 1942

B884, Q152466 (National Archives of Australia)

Life Summary [details]


10 August, 1907
Hastings, New Zealand


6 August, 1990 (aged 82)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

cerebral thrombosis

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations
Political Activism